Talk to me about transition from 1 to 2 children - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 04-27-2004, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
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WELL! I had just finished typing out this LOOOOONNNGGGGG post with lots of questions & explanations about our situation, but apparantly the forum kicks you out if you take too long and you lose your entire post....grrrrrrrrrr! I just spent an hour going back and forth from typing to putting ds back down...

So...I'm gonna make this quick, cause it's too late for me now...

I am looking for pointers/hints/suggestions on how to begin a transition with ds so he is ready for a sister or brother. Specifically:

1. Not nursing so much at night

2. Becoming okay with sleeping alone (usually)

3. Dang it! I forgot the others...

I'm also wondering what I can expect of a 22 month old in terms of understanding "wait" and references to time/time of day (when the sun comes up, etc.)... and any/everything else it would be helpful for me to know! Glad I'm not asking a lot, huh! :LOL

Any pointers/suggestions on what you did with your 1st while you were in labor would be great as well. My family is pretty much all in Michigan, and most of my friends have small children of their own. At this point I'm considering looking into hiring a doula (we're planning a homebirth, by the way), but I don't know that that wouldn't be cost prohibitive, ya know? I would want the person to be familiar with ds, so they would have to get to know him beforehand, kwim? I can't afford to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars...

Well...that's all this preggo sleep deprived momma can remember for now, so

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#2 of 7 Old 04-27-2004, 05:05 AM
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Hi there! I just had #2 8.5 wks ago. My children are 19 months apart. I tell friends that the transition from one to two is easier than from zero to one, which on many levels is true - because I'm already "used" to the dependency of having a child and the lack of personal time, but I realize upon reflection that the challenges going from one to two are different than those from zero to one (DUH!). I also realize that I had undiagnosed PPD/PPAD with #1 and am attempting to treat PPD right now.

Weaning & Sleeping while Pregnant
I was instructed to wean my daughter by the time I was 12wks pregnant because of problems with PTL. NIght weaning was difficult because that's how she was used to falling asleep. As I recall, we used a combination of techniques - all that unfortunately involved crying on her and my part. I don't know that we weaned the 'right way' (or if there is a right way). It was pretty awful. Hopefully someone else will have good advice for you.

At that point, I had also had to transition her out of our bed because she became and 'active sleeper' (i.e. moving around a lot) - so I wasn't sleeping much at night at all! We set a crib up in our room for a while and then moved it into her room. That took a few weeks to accomplish - was difficult emotionally for me - but I didn't see any other way because I REALLY needed the sleep at that point. We've had challenges since then getting her to fall asleep, but I finally realized we were trying to get her to go to bed before she was really ready. I've finally accepted that she's not ready to go to bed until after 9:00pm - in part because we keep late hours because of my DH's work schedule.

I had an unexpected and difficult delivery precipitated by a sudden illness that worked it's way through my whole family in 5 days (Norwalk virus) - I then had a lot of complications and was in the hospital for 10 days and then had to have IVs at home for another 5 after we left the hospital. During that time, my SIL came over and stayed with my DD.

I don't have experience with Doulas, so I can't advise you on that one.

Sibling Adjustment
Isobel was almost 20 months when Bodi came home. She has adjusted well to his presence. But, I have to admit, my SIL comes over every day to help - and we often go over to MIL's house - which means that DD gets a little bit less of my direct attention, but lots of SIL's and MIL's attention. That's probably a critical factor in her adjustment to her brother. It's only been in the past two weeks that she's really begun to realize that Bodhi is taking up a lot of my time - and she tries to get me to hold her when she hears Bodhi cry. She often wants up when I'm nursing him, so I usually sit on the couch and let her sit next to me.

Isobel doesn't have any sense of time execept right now. I've found the Dr. Sears Baby book and his Discipline book great sources of info on what age appropriate concepts are - I'd highly recommend getting those out of your library to help you understand what concepts your child can and can't understand.

Overall the transition has gone well. My daughter loves her brother - at the beginning she loved to point out his head, ears, eyes, lips, nose and other body parts. Now she loves to pat him on the head, back and give him kisses. She likes to be close to me when he's close to me - which is fine by me (but was a little difficult at the beginning because I was recovering from a c-section).

I should note that my son is an easy baby - all he does is eat and sleep. He only cries if I don't respond to his cues to eat. He seems to have a very different temperment than my daughter.

I have found a kangaroo korner fleece pouch very useful for keeping my hands free for my daughter while keeping my son close. I would recommend that you get yourself a pouch or a sling for your new one if you don't already use one. They're great!

Good Luck!
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#3 of 7 Old 04-27-2004, 09:00 AM
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My kids are 25 months apart. I had dh take over most of the nighttime stuff while I was pregnant and nightweaned my dd. She was fine with it, one somewhat fussy night, then she accepted him as her primary night comforter. We moved her onto a twin mattress pushed up right against ours. Dh slept there with her if she woke up and was lonely. My mom was primarily responsible for dd during my labor ( I was at a birth center). I sent dh home to be with her that first night, and I got discharged early the next morning.

My best advice is to talk to your ds ALOT. Tell him what the baby will be like and don't gloss it over or make the baby sound more exciting than he/she will be. Tell him what he will be doing while you take care of the baby: reading books together while you nurse, taking a nap all together, helping you get diapers etc. Tell him where the baby will sit in the car, anything you can think of that will change, just prepare him for it. My dd talked about the baby every day during lunch in my last trimester. She adjusted very well. The first couple nights she was a bit tearful at bedtime but ok in the day.

I had the hardest time adjusting, I was ok during the day but would get very depressed at night feeling like I couldn't do enough for either of them, feeling guilty if I was with my dd, feeling guilty if I was with ds.But that was all me, they were doing fine. I think I overprepared my dd and underprepared myself!
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#4 of 7 Old 04-27-2004, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the info, ladies...I'm hoping to ammase (sp?) lots of info before baby gets here. I bought Ian a baby doll the other day, and he seems pretty sweet with it. He even let me "nurse" it...course after about 10 seconds he wanted it back & grabbed it by the head...:LOL
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#5 of 7 Old 04-28-2004, 06:24 PM
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My older babies were both conciderably younger when the next baby came along, so I don't know if anything I am going to say will help. DS was 14 months old when DD1 was born. And DD1 was 16 months old when DD2 came along.

We read tons of *new baby* books, I started carrying around a baby doll with me everywhere I went in the last few weeks of my pregnancies, we talked about the new baby a ton (we DH and I did the talking), we visited friends who had new babies, we practiced being gentle and quiet and I think that's it for before the baby was born.

After the baby was born DH and I did EVERYTHING possible to keep the older kids' schedules exactly as they were before the baby, and did our very best not to change the amount of attention that the child was used to or treat them any differently than before. We also try to include the *older kids* in any kind of baby care that they seem even slightly interested in, but we don't push it if they don't want to help. We try to keep it fun for everyone, while still getting things done around the house, kids fed, played with and cared for, while sticking to a schedule and juggling private time with each child too. Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! But really it's not and it's fun.

Brining home the second and third babies were much much easier than the first, and the adjustment time was real fast. Even our dog's didn't seem to be bothered by 2 or 3:LOL. It is really much easier than people let on. I think that we only hear about peoples' terrible experiences with this and not the great ones. And comments from strangers like *you don't know what you are getting into* or *you sure are going to be busy* add to our fight or flight response to freak out over this.

Just try to stay calm and do what you have to do to keep things *normal*.

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#6 of 7 Old 04-28-2004, 08:46 PM
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My guys are 2.5 years apart almost to the day. Our transition has gone well...for the most part.

Some tips for you:

Try to get older child anything he/she might need before you start to nurse new one. For the first few weeks, my ds would ask for things as soon as he saw me begin to nurse; juice, lovey, breakfast, lunch...anyhting for my attention.

We referred to the baby as "our" baby with ds and this seemed to ease him into the idea of having a new brother. He was very helpful from the start and always wanted to help with "our" new baby. Then the novelty wore off and now he is happy to play while I take care of the new guy.

We also tried to give most of our attention to older ds in the first few weeks, only indulging in pure baby love after ds went to sleep. I think this helped him to still feel extra special.

I got these tips from my best friend who had given birth six months before.
They seemed to work for us and we are doing okay with everything. Now, if only there were a way to grow a third arm...

Good Luck!
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#7 of 7 Old 04-28-2004, 09:13 PM
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Mine are 33 1/2 months apart. I nightweaned my dd at about 30 months- she was ready, but she wasn't ready to sleep alone- we all coslept with the new baby and that was fine.

Getting the first born a doll is a great idea- this worked well for us. And talk about the new baby a lot.

Good luck! It'll all work out.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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